Quartier Perdu

Sheltering from an air raid in an empty underground station, a young woman encounters a strangely out-of-place vessel passing along the platform... A librarian cataloguing the manuscripts of a recently deceased horror writer notices one particular box, relating to his most mystical work, has disappeared... A young academic takes up residency in the former home of an obscure, Dutch poet in order to better understand the strange rumours surrounding his demise... Sean O’Brien’s stories are all lit with the unmistakable hue of the Victorian gothic: from the rantings of a deranged psychiatric patient, to the apparition of demons swarming into a remote, rural railway station; solemn oaths are broken and need atoning for; minor transgressions are met with outlandish curses. Often we join O’Brien’s protagonists attempting to take time out from their troubles, but removing themselves from their normal lives only lets the supernatural in, and before they know it personal demons find very literal ones to conspire with.



'O'Brien's ever-lurking sense of humour turns satirical in his caricature of an academic, a media and communications lecturer specialising in "post-Buffy theory", who is lured into becoming a human sacrifice in the annual college production. Atmospheric and highly literate, with a sense of writerly power in reserve, these gothic tales from a prizewinning poet strike a relishable balance between playful and macabre.' - Phil Baker, The Sunday Times

'This is an impressively strong collection, in which there isn’t a single forgettable story.' - Andy Hedgecock, The Morning Star

'An expert genre stylist... chilling and compelling.' - Indie Lit Fic
'Witty, genuinely unsettling and unashamedly literary.' - The State of the Arts

The writing in this collection is witty and at times piercing but always compelling. By blurring the edges of what may be defined as an individual’s reality, many ideas and their impact are touched upon. Carefully crafted to tell a story with penetrating understatement, this was an entertaining if occasionally sardonic read.' - Jackie Law

'Beautiful, chilling tales.'  - Yoko Isami, Altrincham Word Fest
'Sean O’Brien’s second collection celebrates the resilience of the gothic short story and breathes new life into it...
The Sea God is one of the most artfully ambiguous and disturbing stories I have read in years.' Morning Star, Best of 2018: Fiction


'...a thoughtful, macabre saunter between worlds that is a delight to read.' Katharine Hawkins, Aeternum Journal (Volume 5, Issue 2) pp80-82


‘His stories glint with black comedy and touches of the macabre and surreal. In O’Brien country you may hear the hoot of a train pulling out of the city, but you’ll never be on it.’ – Helen Dunmore

‘Strange, creepy, often brilliant.’ – Financial Times

‘The prose, winging between stateliness and the coarsest urban patois, is fluent and flawless...’ – Independent on Sunday

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The Sea-God
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Book Details

30 Apr 2018

About the Author

Sean O'Brien

Sean O’Brien is a poet, critic, editor, translator, playwright, broadcaster and novelist. His poetry has won multiple awar…
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